As the director of The Buttery, a drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre at Binna Burra, Barry has spent the past 26 years helping those who suffer from substance abuse.
Now his commitment, compassion, advocacy and dedication to alcohol treatment and other drug treatments has been recognised with his induction on to the National Drug and Alcohol Awards (NDAA) honour roll.
The induction was held at Parliament House in Canberra last week.
“I didn’t know that I was going to receive the award, but I was encouraged to attend the function, so I knew that something was going on,” Barry said.
“It’s a great honour and privilege to be recognised by your peers.”
Barry joined The Buttery in 1983 as a teacher involved in the art program.
He then undertook some counselling training and moved into management.
Barry was appointed executive director and then, in 1988, the Buttery board appointed him director.
“I get a huge amount of satisfaction from my job, and I have a huge commitment to the welfare of people affected by drugs and alcohol,” he said.
“There’s nothing more satisfying that seeing people get on with their lives, and we have good successes here at The Buttery.”
“More than 70 per cent of our patients have successful health outcomes.”
Barry has been responsible for developing The Buttery Therapeutic Community into a model that has evolved over the years and is now a nationally recognised AOD treatment facility.
He has also been a board member and chairperson of the Network of Alcohol and Drug Agencies (NADA) for 14 years and the Australasian Therapeutic Communities Association (ATCA) where Barry has been a board member for 19 years.
“My focus has always been on quality treatment options,” Barry said.
As well as the 30-bed facility it runs for drug and alcohol patients, The Buttery also runs three Outreach programs including the Northern Rivers Gambling Service; Intra Outreach drug counselling service and the Mental Illness Substance Abuse outreach service (MISA).
“Finding the money for all of this is quite stressful at times as we are not fully funded by the government,” Barry said.
“We are always chasing money and we are very grateful to the community for their increasing recognition and support of The Buttery.”
Barry’s next financial challenge will be to find the estimated $15 million that is required to build a new Buttery on land in Dudgeons Lane near Bangalow.
Byron Shire Council has approved a DA for the site, and an application for a government grant under the infrastructure program is presently being sought.
Barry said that the building of the new Buttery would generate 60 extra jobs and the present Buttery site would be sold off to generate some money for the new project.
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